Bahraini protesters stage fresh anti-regime rallies
Dozens of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Bahrain to voice their strong determination to press ahead with the peaceful campaign for the establishment of democracy in the Persian Gulf country.
On Thursday, protesters staged a rally in the village of Buri, which lies southwest of the capital, Manama, carrying images of slain pro-democracy activists as well as Bahrain’s national flags.
The marchers further vowed not to relinquish their struggle for justice and democracy until their legitimate demands are met.
Additionally, protesters staged a rally in the town of A’ali, situated about three kilometers (1.8 miles) southeast of the capital, in a show of protest against the continued imprisonment of prominent Shia cleric and opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman.
The marchers, carrying portraits of Salman and Bahrain’s national flags, demanded the freedom of Salman, who heads the country’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
They also called for a peaceful democratic transition in Bahrain.
Sheikh Salman was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Manama regime and collaborating with foreign powers. He denies the charges, saying he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means.
In June 2015, a Bahraini court sentenced him to four years in prison on charges such as insulting the Bahraini Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law. He was acquitted of seeking regime change.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly called on the Manama regime to immediately release the al-Wefaq leader.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations on an almost daily basis in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini regime in its crackdown on the peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the crackdown.
Amnesty International and many other rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime for the rampant human rights abuses against opposition activists and protesters.